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At the Rink blog

Defense prospect Brodin makes home debut for Wild

Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:21 PM

By Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Defense prospect Brodin makes home debut for Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota's first round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft was defenseman Jonas Brodin.

After playing in Sweden last season, he was expected to compete for a roster spot with Minnesota in training camp.

A lockout, a broken collarbone and an abbreviated stay with the Houston Aeros later, Brodin is with the Wild and will make his Xcel Energy Center debut tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets after playing in both of the games on Minnesota's recent two-game road trip.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said he's been very pleased with his young defenseman through two games, especially considering the circumstances.

"Going to Joe Louis [Arena in Detroit], that's a pretty tough welcome to the NHL and I thought he was outstanding," Yeo said. "I thought he was very good in St. Louis, too, in a game that was very difficult for a defenseman to play. I think he's done a very nice job.

Yeo is rewarding the young Swede by moving him to the Wild's top pairing with veteran Ryan Suter. The promotion promises to bring a much bigger spotlight, more ice time, and gives Wild brass a chance to see a defensive pairing that could be together for a long, long time.

"Quite possibly," Yeo said. "Certainly we're projecting for [Brodin] down the road to be that kind of player. But let's be fair, this is only his third game in the NHL. We're asking a lot of him, but we do think he is capable of it."

The move also allows the reunion of Tom Gilbert and Clayton Stoner on the Wild's second D-pairing, a unit that was very impressive over Minnesota's first two games -- the team's two wins so far this season.

The Blue Jackets were late arrivals to Minnesota. After beating the Dallas Stars on Monday night at Nationwide Arena, weather conditions kept their plane grounded until this morning. The team did not leave Ohio until 10 a.m. local time and arrived in Minnesota less than eight hours before puck drop.

The team is not scheduled to hit the ice until warm-ups tonight, but will look to build off their win last night, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

Look for Niklas Backstrom to make his second straight start in goal for the Wild. The Jackets, who played Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes last night, are expected to counter with Steve Mason.

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Mikael Granlund - Devin Setoguchi

Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

Darroll Powe - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Clayton Stoner - Tom Gilbert

Marco Scandella - Justin Falk

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

BLUE JACKETS

RJ Umberger - Artem Anisimov - Derek Dorsett

Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - Vinny Prospal

Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Derick Brassard

Colton Gillies - Mark Letestu - Jared Boll

Jack Johnson - James Wisniewski

Nikita Nikitin - Fedor Tyutin

John Moore - Adrian Aucoin

Steve Mason

Sergei Bobrovsky

Quote of the Day

It's time we got a break. People that have watched us, I'm sure they said, 'Finally, some things are going our way.' We'll take the breaks when they go our way.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien after a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak
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